Serena Williams on Sunday made it to the quarter-finals of the women’s singles event of the ongoing Australian Open after seeing through a tough challenge from number 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams defeated Sabalenka 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a fierce fourth-round contest at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Williams, who is looking for a record-equalling 24th major singles title, smashed 30 winners, including nine aces, to dent the effort from Sabalenka.
The Belarusian had won 18 of her last 19 matches. However, she failed to tame Williams as the veteran moved into the last eight in Melbourne for the 13th time in her career.
“It was obviously real important because I didn’t want to be out of the tournament, so it felt good to kind of clutch that in the end and get through that,” Williams, number 10 seed, said after the match as per the WTA website.
The 39-year-old American will face either two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep or reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek for a place in the semi-finals.
Earlier in the day, 2019 champion Naomi Osaka saved two match points to beat two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the second time in the past three years.
From 5-3, 15-40 down on serve in the final set, Osaka won four straight games to complete an improbable comeback in an exciting fourth-round contest which lasted one hour and 55 minutes.
She will next face Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei for a place in last four of the women’s singles event